inside the mind of the octopus

I had always longed to meet an octopus. Now was my chance: senior aquarist Scott Dowd arranged an introduction. In a back room, he would open the top of Athena’s tank. If she consented, I could touch her. The heavy lid covering her tank separated our two worlds. One world was mine and yours, the reality of air and land, where we lumber through life governed by a backbone and constrained by jointed limbs and gravity. The other world was hers, the reality of a nearly gelatinous being breathing water and moving weightlessly through it. We think of our world as the “real” one, but Athena’s is realer still: after all, most of the world is ocean, and most animals live there. Regardless of whether they live on land or water, more than 95 percent of all animals are invertebrates, like Athena.

Click to read Sy Montgomery’s article about several meetings with an octopus called Athena. (Somehow, I find ‘[w]e think of our world as the “real” one, but Athena’s is realer still’ particularly melodious.) A lovely article with a surprisingly moving ending……


3 Responses to “inside the mind of the octopus”

  1. 1 francesco Monday, 15 April, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I read this in that issue of Orion, and now I can’t eat octopus anymore– they are too smart. Thanks for reposting. (PS Check out Nigel Pitman’s story in that same issue.)

  2. 3 francesco Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Yes– that’s the story!
    I liked octopus– especially eaten on a Greek island, with white wine, and a slight sunburn.

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